Diet Misinformation in the Digital Age

The existence of large amounts of useful diet information on the Internet is countered by the existence of misinformation. (Image: via  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
The existence of large amounts of useful diet information on the Internet is countered by the existence of misinformation. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Exposure to the Internet has given people a great opportunity to take better care of their bodies, thanks to the huge amount of diet and exercise resources available to all. However, the existence of large amounts of useful diet information is countered by the existence of misinformation. And it is this misinformation that is posing a serious threat to people’s health in the digital age.

Diet misinformation

Diet misinformation simply refers to wrong information about any food provided by a resource that negatively affects your health. For instance, some famous fitness expert may advise against consuming certain oils in order to reduce fat.

However, this might only be applicable to people suffering from diabetes and not the general population. This is what diet misinformation means. Such false tips and resources are so widespread on the Internet that it is difficult to distinguish which ones are useful and which are harmful.

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Before changing your diet to add or eliminate foods, consider the source of the information and whether or not it applies to you. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

“Who do you trust? The hot Instagram model with the six-pack telling you to add protein powder to all your meals, or the reality TV celebrity who stopped eating carbs and thinks you should too? Navigating through this conflicting information is hard enough; now, try adding an already busy schedule, your new-found independence and the desire to have a social life. This is why there is a need for sensible, credible advice to cut through the misinformation,” says an article at Newcastle Herald.

In a study conducted by Cornell University, it was found that social media users tend to develop a fear of a specific food item because of the misinformation they are exposed to. About 1,080 women were asked about their opinion on high fructose corn syrup.

Several of the participants were afraid of consuming the item. However, a closer look at their habits revealed that such women were largely influenced by their social media exposure. Women who did not use social media very much were found to be more accepting of the idea of consuming corn syrup.

Identifying wrong information

The prevalence of diet and health-related misinformation necessitates that you become aware of how to distinguish between the two. Otherwise, there is a real risk that you might follow wrong advice that might end up seriously damaging your health.

Beware of people, products, or services that offer a diet plan that will provide a quick solution to your weight issues. For instance, you will likely come across promotions that promise to help cut down body weight by 40 pounds per week or something similar. Keep in mind that such exaggerated claims may appeal to your desire for a quick solution, but will only be harmful. As they say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It is also a good idea to double-check information before you believe it, no matter how trusted the source might be. When an Instagram celebrity asks you to drink a teaspoon of honey every morning to aid digestion, ensure that you verify the information from other sources as well. Having multiple trusted sources confirm the same information is a good way to weed out wrong ones and make sure that you do not suffer from health issues by implementing those tips.

It is also a good idea to double-check information before you believe it, no matter how trusted the source might be. (Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

It is also a good idea to double-check information before you believe it, no matter how trusted the source might be. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0

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